Graham later said that the gesture was just him being friendly — though a chorus of Republican congressmen reportedly wished Harris congratulations this week

By Virginia Chamlee
November 18, 2020 06:07 PM
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Though Lindsey Graham has publicly been hesitant to acknowledge the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — his past and present Senate colleagues — the South Carolina lawmaker seemed to offer a personal gesture of congratulations on Tuesday when he fist-bumped Harris on the Senate floor.

As Graham walked up, Harris, 56, could be seen extending her hand in a fist.

Graham, 65, greeted the vice president-elect with his own fist before patting her on the back in a warm display that soon circulated on social media.

As CNN reporter Manu Raju noted on Twitter, a chorus of other Republican congressmen wished Harris congratulations during a vote on one of President Donald Trump's nominees to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Some leading Republicans, however, have said they won't weigh in on Trump's election defeat until the vote is certified and his challenges are exhausted.

Graham later told Raju that his gesture was just him being friendly.

“Just saying hello — I haven’t a seen in her in a while," he said, according to a tweet posted by Raju.

"If it works out and they make it, I told her I wish her well and try to work where we can. We will know here in a month or so or less,” Graham told CNN, seemingly referring to the official Electoral College vote in December designating Biden as the next president.

Sen. Lindsey Graham
| Credit: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty

Graham, one of Trump's most loyal allies, has joined the president in promoting conspiracy theories about voter fraud and election misconduct for which the Trump campaign has not offered proof. (Their various long-shot legal challenges have likewise fared poorly in the courts.)

Trump and his aides have likewise taken issue with various vote counting and processing procedures around the country, though there is no evidence these swayed the totals between him and Biden.

"Democrats could give a damn about this, they don't care how Trump lost as long as he lost," Graham said on Fox News in the days after the election.

"Let's fight back and give President Trump all the due process the law allows him," he said then.

President Trump, who has made only a handful of public appearances in the two weeks since the election, has spent much of that time attacking the nation's electoral process — particularly in a handful of states Biden won in 2020 that he previously won in 2016.

Graham has added fuel to the fire, with reports this week that he inquired about ways to throw out legally cast ballots in Georgia after Biden narrowly triumphed in the state.

Graham denied that account — from Georgia's secretary of state, a Republican — saying he had spoken to officials in other states as well, as he was worried about the integrity of the election.

U.S. officials have called the Nov. 3 contest the “most secure in American history.”